Former England skipper Nick Easter has joined a growing number of rugby players in voicing his concern about the gym monkey culture that has become prevalent in the youth academies amid fears that a number of careers will be cut short due to collisions on the field and has called for the RFU to take drastic action.

The 36 year old, who plays as a No 8 for Harlequins FC in the Aviva Premiership only became a full professional at 25 years of age and never had to go through the rigours of academy training and he believes that the growing size of the youngsters coming out of the academies are a cause of concern for all parties concerned.

A report recently indicated that the England Under-18 squad which toured Wales last season was heavier, man for man, that the England senior squad under Will Carling that reached the Rugby World Cup final in 1991.

Nick Easter said that if he had been playing at a regular basis in the Premiership and on the international stage at 20 or 21 years of age, he is not sure that he would have been able to keep his body in shape like now and he believes that it is the main concern for these youngsters.

These players have two to three stones on their counterparts from yesteryears and are still doing all the heavy running and maybe even more.

According to Nick Easter, it is a good thing that they are looking after their bodies, developing their muscles with gym work and protein shakes but other parts of the body must also be looked at and while these are not fully developed, are still getting hit, leading to many careers being cut short tragically at an age where one would have peaked.